EHealth Insider Launches Chief Clinical Information Officer Campaign

By Ehealth Media Ltd, PRNE
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

LONDON, June 23, 2011 -


EHealth Insider - - the online UK NHS IT
and information management news service, has today launched a major
campaign calling for every NHS provider organisation to consider
appointing a clinician to act as their clinical information

The EHI Chief Information Officer Campaign is backed by the
Royal College of Physicians and BCS, The Chartered Institute for
IT, two of the key professional bodies for clinicians and

The campaign goal is simple: for every NHS provider organisation
to consider appointing a dedicated, chief clinical information
officer to ensure clear clinical leadership on IT and information
projects to support improvements in the quality of care.  

We believe that the development of this role is the most
effective way to cultivate the expertise and skills needed to
achieve a step-change in clinical involvement in IT projects and to
realise the potential of information to improve services for

The campaign has been launched with the publication of an open
letter to Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, urging him
to recommend that every NHS trust in England consider appointing a
CCIO and that, as a first step, they should identify a local
clinical information champion.

The letter warns that the promised NHS Information Revolution,
which aims to foster far more effective of information to measure
and improve clinical quality, is at risk unless it is clinically
led from the ground up.

“We need far greater clinical engagement in the design and
delivery of information and technology programmes than has occurred
to date. To secure it, we believe there is a need for a new type of
clinical information champion,” the letter says.

“The new CCIO role will build on the skills of existing NHS IT
professionals, and help NHS organisations ensure that high quality
information is at the heart of everything they do.  

“We believe that this important new role will appeal to a wide
range of clinicians, many of whom have already worked on IT and
information projects, often in addition to their ‘core’ job.
 We believe that with appropriate support, today’s local
informal clinical information champions have the potential to
become the NHS’s first CCIOs.”

EHI co-founder and editor Jon Hoeksma said: “EHI has written
about NHS IT for almost ten years and a hallmark of almost all
successful projects is that they have strong clinical leadership or

“We believe that NHS information projects need to be designed
and led by clinicians; and that means NHS organisations need to
invest in high profile, capable people to do the job. It is to
secure that investment that we are launching the EHI CCIO

Dr Justin Whatling, vice chair, strategy and policy, BCS Health,
said: “BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, endorses this campaign,
which aligns with our own recent recommendations calling for a
chief clinical information officer role to be created in NHS

“It is a critical role that firmly unites informatics and
clinical practice, ensuring the successful use of information and
IT systems in the transformation of healthcare.”

Professor John Williams, director of the health informatics
unit, Royal College of Physicians, said:

“The Royal College of Physicians is pleased to support this

“Clinical leadership is essential if the benefits of information
technology and management are to be harnessed to deliver better,
safer, patient care in the NHS.  

“The appointment of a chief clinical information officer in
every trust or health board will bring this leadership, and ensure
greater focus on patient benefits, while undoubtedly improving the
quality of the information used to manage both patients and the

Professor Williams added: “As a national initiative the
potential for UK wide collaboration between CCIO’s brings the
opportunity for additional benefits such as the universal
implementation of professionally endorsed clinical standards for
the structure and content of patient records.”

Editors notes

The EHI CCIO Campaign briefing document is available at: href="">

The full text of the open letter to the Secretary of State is
available at:



Jon Hoeksma, editor EHI, +44(0)7771-657983 href="">

Lyn Whitfield, managing editor EHI, +44(0)779-3007538 href="">


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